Lowering the mast

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Lowering the mast

Postby g1298wk » Wed Aug 15, 2012 10:26 am

I'm heading out for a passage shortly and may need to lower the mast on my GB32 at some point on the journey. Can some one walk me through the process so I can practice performing the task at the dock before the need actually arises? I can clearly see the hinge mechanism and understand how to release it to get it ready to drop...but what's next? How do I avoid a big sudden and dangerous drop onto the deck?
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Postby Bob Lowe » Wed Aug 15, 2012 11:53 am

How is your mast hinged?

At the cockpit deck folding aft?

At the flybridge deck folding aft?

At the flybridege deck folding forward?

Above the flybridge deck folding aft?

Above the flybridge deck folding forward?
Good luck,
Bob Lowe
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Postby g1298wk » Wed Aug 15, 2012 12:12 pm

On my GB 32 the mast is hinged on the edge of the top deck and folds towards the stern (over the lower deck). There are two side stays that will be released to prepare for the drop. Keeping the mast (with spreader lights and radar) under control during the drop is my concern. Keeping it stable once it is parallel is another question.
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Mast lowering

Postby T_BOAT » Wed Aug 15, 2012 1:04 pm

Hi, I have my Banks over at Duffy's. Are you at GYB ? If your mast is long enough so when it comes back, it will be over your aft rails, you can mount a cradle made up of 2 2 x 4s. Like a X with the bolt holding them together about 16" from the top. You can put soft material between 2 X 4 and teak rails and tie on to support the whole thing. You may need a step ladder on board to receive it coming down. I saw a rig that the owner attached to his mast on the aft part. It swings free from a top mount and he can hold it and lower to the deck. It is alwys the last 30 degrees coming down that you have to be careful .
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Postby g1298wk » Wed Aug 15, 2012 2:36 pm

Thanks, sounds like it is a little bit of a tricky maneuver and care must be taken. Not something you'd do while underway. My GB doesn't have back rails they stop just at the back deck, so the 2X4 is a good idea. I keep my boat at Skip Jack...so I'm right next door.
Right now we are in Cape May but will back at home port in about a week or so. I might owe you a beer for your input:-)
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Postby Bob Lowe » Wed Aug 15, 2012 2:54 pm

Another simple and popular way to deal with that type of mast lowering and raising situation is to use a fulcrum or gin pole which is attached to the mast at about the halfway point and will extend perpendicular to the mast for a distance of about a third to half the length of the mast.

In practice, a line is attached to the top of the mast, passed over (through an eye) the top of the fulcrum pole which changes the angle of effort.

It makes it pretty easy to them lower and raise the mast from the flybridge deck. It does help to have a saddle down at lower deck level somewhere to receive and hold the mast.

You can see a drawing of such a fulcrum pole on page 4 of the attachment in this link. http://nwpotters.org/man/P19manual-new.pdf
Good luck,

Bob Lowe
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mast raising

Postby kainebob » Thu Aug 16, 2012 7:15 am

How does one make a gin pole? I read the part about using wing nuts, but it seems to me like it really has to be attached tightly to the mast. I've been around sailing for years and have heard about them, but have never seen one. Is there a roller at the top of the gin pole? Many years ago, there was an ez step for raising masts on Hobie Cats that attached with straps.
Bob: "...Nothing's free in Waterworld..."
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Postby Bob Lowe » Thu Aug 16, 2012 7:55 am

One of the simplest ways to use a gin pole is to install a socket on the mast to insert the gin pole. I would use an eye on the end of the gin pole since the line used will not be running and we don't want the line jumping out of the groove.

I'm sure there are other simple ways to employ a gin pole.
Good luck,

Bob Lowe
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Postby fogleew » Thu Aug 16, 2012 8:38 pm

We use the radar mount frame on Little Red to provide 'gin pole' type leverage. We remove the boom tackle and attach it between the forward cross bar on the radar frame and the grab bar on the top of the bridge helm. It works well w/ at 4/1 advantage until the mast is about 15 degrees from horizontal but then it is only 6-7 feet over the aft cabin. An aluminum crutch supported by rings on the aft bridge step hand rail and it is secure.
Eric and Sharon Fogleman
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mast raising

Postby kainebob » Thu Aug 23, 2012 7:50 am

Eric:

We have a similar method, and it seemed to work well for a while. How do you keep the mast from drifting port to starboard? We bent our mast step plate a bit.

Bob
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Postby fogleew » Thu Aug 23, 2012 3:28 pm

With the extra mechanical advantage of our new tackle, Sharon lowers the mast and I guide it down from the top. As it gets to about 45 degrees, I move to the aft salon. We only lower in good weather. Sharon can help center with the tackle as she lowers. We do not disconnect the rear halyards.
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Re: Lowering the mast

Postby joster » Thu Oct 17, 2019 3:54 pm

I just came up with a very workable solution. I added a hinge to the mast just above the spreader bars, which allows me to easily get under 20' in five minutes, alone.

The video of the project is here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1o9muoDoMSE
Joe
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Re: Lowering the mast

Postby Jastafford » Fri Nov 01, 2019 11:38 am

I dropped my mast for the first time the other day. I have a 1972 42' and the mast is hinged at the mid deck. My PO installed two rings, one at the base of the flybridge railing right in front of the mast and the other in the center of the flybridge helm near the top. I attached a double pulley to the ring at the helm and a single at the railing base. Tied a line as high up on the mast as I could which was right above the spreader. With this I could lower the mast all the way down to a cradle positioned in the railings on the aft deck. I stood on the mid deck, base of the stairs. Easy peasy no strain at all. Had somebody else just guide it down straight so as not to put side strain on the hinge ears.
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Re: Lowering the mast

Postby OregonJim » Tue Nov 19, 2019 7:02 pm

I'm late to this conversation so this may not pertain but it may show others another way to do this. My GB 32 (a woodie) came with this system. The mast folds forward into a crutch on the back of the bridge helm seat. The boom stays in place in a boom crutch attached at the stern rail and down to the aft deck. When raising the mast, just give it a lift to get it started (no Radar so it's not very heavy) then pull the line on the block between the mast and the boom. Once in place, lock the hinge pins and cleat the line you were pulling. Then raise the bimini and you're good to go. As you can see I don't have much door clearance to enter my boathouse so I have gotten pretty good at the up and down procedures. Hope this description and the pictures help someone.
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Re: Lowering the mast

Postby Charlie0 » Wed Nov 20, 2019 6:04 am

Jastafford wrote:
> I dropped my mast for the first time the other day. I have a 1972 42' and
> the mast is hinged at the mid deck. My PO installed two rings, one at the
> base of the flybridge railing right in front of the mast and the other in
> the center of the flybridge helm near the top. I attached a double pulley
> to the ring at the helm and a single at the railing base. Tied a line as
> high up on the mast as I could which was right above the spreader. With
> this I could lower the mast all the way down to a cradle positioned in the
> railings on the aft deck. I stood on the mid deck, base of the stairs.
> Easy peasy no strain at all. Had somebody else just guide it down straight
> so as not to put side strain on the hinge ears.

Pictures?
Charlie O
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Hull 715
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